Guns and rotting fish found at Sicilian pizzeria

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Police found 70kg of rotting fish at the pizzeria near Palermo. Photo: Wikicommons
14:42 CEST+02:00
A restaurant manager with alleged links to the mafia is on the run after police found a stash of weapons, bullets and rotting fish beneath his pizzeria near Palermo, Sicily.

Police also discovered a soundproof room with a shooting range after calling in at the All’Ancora restaurant in Santa Flavia, which only in June was described by a customer on the travel website, TripAdvisor, as “an authentic, delicious little place.”


Tony Bartolo Lo Coco, 42, went on the run and left his partner, Anna Maria Assunta Basile, to face the music. She is now under house arrest for the illegal possession of arms and ammunition, as well as receiving stolen goods, according to a report on


Police said they had been observing Lo Coco, who was arrested in 1997 as part of an investigation that dismantled the Altavilla Milicia mafia clan, for some time. 


Among the weapons was a stolen Beretta gun, which had been used to fire bullets in the shooting range.


There was also a grim discovery of 70kg of rotting fish in what police described as a “filthy” kitchen. The restaurant has since been closed due to hygiene reasons.


Other commentators on TripAdvisor were equally oblivious to the goings-on beneath the restaurant’s surface. One described it as a “lifesaver”. Another said: “It offers a fairly limited menu - simple seafood and pizza - but all prepared fresh and cooked well. We tried the mussels, a few different pizzas, shrimp salad, and green salads.”


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